One Response to Chris Christie v. Hillary Clinton

Portents of Doom

Wednesday, January 2, AD 2013

Yes, Congress and the White House managed to punt on any real solutions to our ever-growing debt crisis, reaching a deal that raised a lot of taxes but cut no spending. Yet the real signal that we are truly doomed as a country  may have come from a bill that did not pass – not yet. The House of Representatives failed to pass a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy, prompting Republican Governor Chris Christie to act like a petulant child who didn’t receive all that he wanted on Christmas morn.

“There is only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House Majority and John Boehner.”

“Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state,” he said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”

“Shame on you, shame on Congress.”

Following his remarks, Christie doubled down on his criticism in a lengthy — and incredibly candid — press conference in which he laid into House Republicans for putting “palace intrigue” ahead of their actual jobs.

“Our people were played last night as a pawn…and that’s why people hate Washington, D.C.,” Christie said later. “They forget that we’re the ones who sent them there.”

Representative Peter King (“R” – NY) also blasted his party and even threatened quitting in anger – hours before throwing his support for Speaker John Boehner when others within the caucus attempted to oust him from leadership.

But King and Christie are just speaking out for their poor constituents who desperately need federal aid. Ummm, not exactly. Daniel Foster lists some of the items contained in this bill:

•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.

•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.

•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.

•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.

•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’

•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.

•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.

•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.

As Foster notes, money has already been appropriated to deal with the immediate situation. And as Katrina Trinko adds, only 15 percent of the money allocated in this bill would actually be spent this year. Some emergency funding, huh? But of course the esteemed Senators from Alaska will not tolerate any criticisms of their pork requests.

These are two very real and very serious disasters that Alaskans are facing. The first being the salmon disaster which was declared a disaster by the federal government this past September – Alaskans are still waiting for relief after the devastating impact on fisheries. After Japan’s generous gift of $5 million, the U.S. government needs to step up to the plate as tsunami debris poses serious navigational hazards and risks to coastal communities. Sandy remains the priority in this bill, but given that many of the dollars allocated for debris will go to charting and mapping it, this bill is a more than appropriate vehicle to bring up these disasters which have severely impacted Alaska’s communities.

This fiasco highlights some things you need to know about our government, and why things will never improve. As Senator Begich’s comments illustrate, there is not a dime of federal spending that will not be defended by someone. No matter how trivial, no matter how seemingly wasteful, there will always be someone out there to defend that dollar (or millions) of appropriation.

More importantly, Christie’s childish reaction shows that even s0-called fiscal conservatives cannot be relied upon to remain level-headed. Surely Christie must be aware that some $20 billion or so of this bill is completely unrelated to dealing with the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Instead of criticizing those in Congress who decided to weigh down this bill with unnecessary measures, Christie decides to demagogue the issue and blame the people who are at least trying to behave responsibly. Surely Christie could have called upon Congress to mass House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers’s much more reasonable disaster relief bill. But that’s not the Blusterer’s style. This was a moment to get on the evening news, and he wouldn’t have done so had he criticized Democrats.

Chris Christie is the golden child of “fiscal conservatives.” If even he is unwilling to patiently await passage of a reasonably considered bill that would focus on actual hurricane relief, but instead would prefer to scream about the need for IMMEDIATE PASSAGE NOW!!!!!!!!! – then what hope is there that we can ever achieve fiscal sanity in this country.

Ace has some sobering words to consider in light of this fiasco.

Watching “fiscal conservative” Chris Christie fail to say one word about those who demand that relief for his state be bought with unrelated spending for their own states, which weren’t hit by catastrophe — shouldn’t it be noted that Lisa Murkowski and Don Young of Alaska won’t vote for those left homeless by Sandy until some local businesses get their “cut”? — it occurs to me that he is accommodating himself to reality.

The reality is vox populi, vox dei — the voice of the people is the voice of God. And the voice of this particular shabby god has decreed that we shall be financially reckless and we should go through a national bankruptcy, and there’s no sense trying to avoid it, so we’ll just run up a huge tab buying multiple 65 inch 3D tvs before we crash.

Given that the people wish to spend money they do not have, and soon will not have (for all the same reasons that people with bad credit can’t rent a car — your ability to borrow is precisely related to your projected future ability to make good on your loans), and will not be diverted from this disastrous course, what can anyone do?

. . .

But for now, let’s go get a few of those sweet 3D TV’s and watch Pirates of the Caribbean IV.

You’ll think I’m a wonderful, well-providing father… for the next month or so.

After that, you may hold a different opinion of me. Major negative changes in circumstance tend to do that.

But for now– 3D TVs. Have you ever seen such a clear, sort of three dimensional picture? Aren’t I your hero? At this moment, I mean.

We deserve the government we have.


Oh, and before I hear from any wiseguys, two of my brothers had to abandon their flooded homes because of the storm.


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9 Responses to Portents of Doom

  • I agree.

    Sixty billion here, sixty billion there – pretty soon you’re talking REAL MONEY.

    The national debt is over 103% of GDP and will shortly hit 130% (then we become Greece) as Obama and Christie are each year spending trillions more than tax receipts. Neither NJ (high tax state) nor the US government can repay their debts.

    And, I live on Long Island. Our Nassau County village had over 140 large trees down and 35 houses severely damaged. We didn’t need to take money from taxpayers in Idaho or from my children and grandchildren to restore eletricity and gas and open our streets. Or, to fix our houses.

    They’re reporting that Bohner pulled the bill b/c Cantor voted “no” on the immense excrement sandwich they call the fiscal cliff deal.

    Anyhow, in a few years it will be all over for the USA.

  • I can think of few politicians who have fallen swifter in my estimation than Chris Christie. I think he is preparing the way for an eventual jump to the Democrats. Good riddance.

  • Despair not: “they can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you.”

    People want to do better. They want to be the people they dream of being.

    During this last snow event (i refuse to call 5 inches of snow a “storm”) i cleared the opening to a shared alley. A neighbor who was finishing his sidewalk headed into the house, only to return five minute later to help. 10 minutes later, another neighbor joined. Within an hour, there were six of us clearing the alley, and then the intersection, and then the road. By the time the plow came through, there was nothing for him to do.

    My point is that we can be Franciscan about this: preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words.

  • “preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words.”

    A good story G-Veg, but I wish to point out that Saint Francis never said that. That is a modern formulation from the 1990s.

  • I really don’t know what’s up with the US money-go-round. The largest economy and arguably the wealthiest nation in history is broke – with govt. debt 103% of GDP.
    While our little country – admittedly a little more socialised than I personally would like. but our debt is 41% of GDP – we have an adequate welfare system – some say too generous – unemployment is high at 6.9 % in a relatively small export led economy, and 4.5 million people. Maybe its our small size that makes things easier – but we , under the present govt – unlike the Helen Clark Labour govt -just don’t cave in to every bludger wanting a hand out ( except we are being over-generous to the Maori Greivance Gravy Train)
    And we’ll be back in surplus projected at 2015. Maybe you should get our guys to handle your purse strings 😉

  • St. Francis may not have sai it but I like the articulation so I think I’ll keep it as is.

    With regards to the US economy, the US spent an obscene amount on war and then threw away the stimulus mony. That is at least part of the difference you see.

  • “the US spent an obscene amount on war”

    Disagree vigorously G-Veg. Any money that is used to keep my family safer I do not regard in any way as “obscene”. I fear that we will soon get to see that perhaps we failed to allocate sufficient funds for defense considering the number of hot spots that are beginning to glow around the globe.

    “St. Francis may not have said it”

    No may about it, he did not say it. This popped up in the 1990s and you now see it repeated endlessly throughout Saint Blogs.

    Fake quotes are abhorrent to me since they lend authority to a phrase to which it is not entitled. With the advent of the internet fake quotes gain credence because so many people repeat them. Three examples: “We sleep safely in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.” attributed to George Orwell is a fake quote that is repeated endlessly. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” is a favorite George Washington quote that he never uttered. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” was never said by Edmund Burke.

  • Yeah, I’d say a “phenomenal” amount on defense, not “obscene”. The benefits we get from it include secure international trade, so it’s probably a net gain, but it’d sure be nice if someone else picked up the check every once in a while. (And that’s not even considering the moral consequences.)

    I think that Christie looked particularly good to Republicans back when their bench was weaker. As the years roll by, there’s a natural sorting process, and the new generation will be tested. Paul, Brown, McDonnell, Rubio, and Ayotte, and going back a little further, Palin, Ryan, and Jindal. There will be sex scandals, and words like “macaca”, and random bad luck, and a lot of rising stars will fall. Some will succeed. Two new ones to watch: Ted Cruz in the Senate and Tom Cotton in the House. Great early press.


    The New Year does not bode well for our amoral nation.
    America has become a godless imitation.
    How many more will lose life, liberty, and survival?
    The Constitution and rights must have serious revival.

    The religious freedom we once had is now being denied.
    Objections by religious leaders are being defied.
    The God of Abraham was once our nation’s guiding light.
    Immorality has almost become a legal right.

    Marriage of a man and woman is God’s moral demand.
    Will the Supreme Court now deny His eternal command?
    The American people are enemy number one.
    Our religious liberty and freedoms they have undone.

    Our nation has grown cold to God’s love – we are divided.
    The Ten Commandments are being openly derided.
    Those who do not trust God have misplaced their intended goal.
    They alone have the power to rescue their eternal soul.

    As light fades, what we so proudly hailed no one can now see.
    The ramparts were not watched – we are no longer free.
    The future of America has never seemed so bleak.
    Hope is possible only if the Son of God we seek.

    Bob Rowland

Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

The great conservative hope, at least according to the likes of Ann Coulter, recently appointed a gentleman named Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Harris is openly gay –  a point that Christie made sure to highlight when he introduced Harris as his nominee.  Unsurprisingly Harris is a supporter of gay marriage, and has been very vocal on this issue.   Blogger Paul Mulshine reprints an email that Harris sent to Republican legislators in the state:

As a Republican elected official and someone who has worked hard (and successfully) to get Republicans elected in Chatham Borough, it disturbs me that same-sex marriage has become a Republican versus Democrat issue (understanding there are some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage). I was encouraged to see former Governor Christine Whitman’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, November 29, 2009 Star-Ledger supporting same-sex marriage, I hope you read her article and will seriously consider her suggestion.

You have met me and my partner of nearly 30 years, Marc, on more than one occasion at various political gatherings. The New Jersey Supreme court has determined that our relationship is entitled to the equal protection guarantees of the State Constitution. The New jersey Civil Union Review Commission determined that civil unions do not provide the equality the State Constitution mandates.(Please take a few moments and visit which has two short videos that provide sad examples of the failures of the civil union law.)

When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”

I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates – and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.

Surely Chris Christie knew of this.

That led me to ask the obvious question at a press conference Wednesday: Did Christie know how Harris stood on Lewis v. Harris?

Christie said of Harris and his other nominee, Phillip Kwon of Bergen County, “I did not ask them about specific cases.” He pointed to two other cases of concern to conservatives, the Abbott school-funding decisions and the Mount Laurel decisions on affordable housing, and said “to the extent that they’ve taken positions on those issues, they’re going to have to let us know that.”

The governor sure did his due diligence in this important duty, didn’t he?

Of course this brings out the band of merry GOP apologists, such as this commenter at NRO.

Good grief, throwing Christie under the bus ALREADY? He’s not even to the Greyhound station yet.

Is there anyone who in your view IS pure enough to be a Republican president? Talk about making perfection the enemy of the good ….

So now it a sign that you’re some fire-breathing purist to expect a Chief Executive to actually do his research before making critical appointments.  Supreme Court appointments – be they federal or state – have long-lasting impact well beyond the life of a governor.  Judicial appointments are among the three or four most important job functions of any president or governor.  Even if Harris recuses himself from any matters pertaining to gay marriage, it is clear from this email that he is not what you’d call a sparkling originalist.  As such, Chris Christie has failed in this vital aspect.

Unfortunately we have so lowered the bar of expectations that some will just overlook this minor inconvenience.  After all, Governor Soundbite has so many cool Youtube clips of him berating his constituents, and as this entire election season has proven, bluster is a lot more impressive than actual accomplishments.

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9 Responses to Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

Chris Christie Does It Again

Friday, February 4, AD 2011

Some pro-lifers expressed fear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was a bit of a moderate on social issues, especially with regards to abortion.  Well Governor Christie has done something that few other governors and other political leaders have done, namely veto funding for Planned Parenthood.  And now he’s done it again.

Following the release of a video that has received nationwide attention showing Planned Parenthood staff at a New Jersey abortion center helping alleged sexual traffickers cover up their crimes with abortions and STD testing, Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill funding Planned Parenthood.

A new undercover video shows Planned Parenthood officials in New Jersey telling a pimp and his prostitute assistant how they can get abortions for young teenage girls who, Planned Parenthood officials are informed, are Asians in the country illegally and forced into the sex trade. The staffer was later fired for her actions.

The Perth Amboy abortion center where the video is filmed is the second-largest Planned Parenthood center operated by Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey and the abortion business plans to double its number of abortion centers in the state.

Christie has already yanked state taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood but the state legislature sent him a bill to restore the taxpayer funds.

I’m not sure that this is directly related to the sting videos.  As mentioned, Christie had already vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood before and most likely would have done it again anyway.  Whatever the case, kudos to Governor Christie.

I also suggest that this this is further proof that economic and social conservatism need not and should not be divorced from one another.  In other words, no truce required.

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One Response to Chris Christie Does It Again

  • Our thanks to Gov. Christie

    Today the nation’s conscience is being challenged more than ever before. The issues have been emboldened by societies continued tolerance of evil practices fashioned often by well meaning authorities and appearing as needed social reforms or benefits to politically protected groups or persuasions without any clue as to the eventual consequences.
    Many of our religious leaders are finally beginning to question the validity of such policies within political party platforms admonishing congregations to search their souls and scriptures for guidance before going to the polls or joining political action groups.
    This is good advice to those devout souls with religious affiliations or those who at least understand that God has indeed blessed America and that as a people we are the most generous in the world.

    Prayer and reflection on the scriptures are powerful responses to problems both seen and unseen because within these pages is written humanity’s ultimate and everlasting destiny. However, going to the bible to find the words needed to answer the questions of today is one thing, ignoring or questioning the validity of what we find there is quite another. We must trust in it even when social “engineers” or politicians scoff at our clinging to it.
    Today pray that our lives will forever be bound in faith to the word of God for truly it is the Eternal Living Word which has come down from heaven in Christ and his church and its truth can not be overturned by politicians no matter what office they hold among us. Cling to the Church and the Holy gospels it teaches for though “heaven and earth may pass away” the word of God will forever remain and sustain you.

New Jersey Loves Illinois!

Thursday, January 27, AD 2011

I was on my way to court yesterday morning when I heard this ad on WLS attempting to lure businesses from Illinois:

“Hi, I’m Chris Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Move my business to New Jersey? Really?’ Really. My administration has worked hard to change the direction of our business climate, plus our state has many advantages. We have an incredible talent pool to drive your business. Innovative financing, incentive and assistance programs. And an exceptional quality of life for the people who live and work here. Oh, and one more thing. As long as I’m Governor, I will not raise your taxes. I am proud of the new direction we’ve brought to New Jersey: lower taxes, reduced government spending and less regulation: a better home for business — today and in the future. Don’t let Illinois balance its budget on the back of your business. Choose New Jersey – we mean business.”

Go here to listen to the ad.

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23 Responses to New Jersey Loves Illinois!

  • Actually I think this latest move proves that what has long been known as the “economic war between the states” has gotten way out of hand. In fact I will soon be doing a post on that very topic.

    I have been rather an admirer of Christie but to be honest, my opinion of him just went down a few notches because of this stunt — and yes, it is a stunt. Seriously, his own state still has a long way to go in fixing its problems, and it is still losing people at a faster rate than Illinois, so he ought to focus on it. Some of Christie’s budget cutting devices (like skipping the state’s payment into the employee pension fund) were already tried in Illinois years ago with the disastrous results we see today.

    Also, don’t forget that:

    1) several of the states that are now attempting to poach jobs from Illinois have combined state and LOCAL tax rates that are about equal to or in some cases HIGHER than what Illinois has now, and

    2) a lot of corporations get tax breaks from Illinois or whatever state they are in so the official tax rate doesn’t apply to them anyway.

  • I think Christie is moving in the right direction Elaine. Considering the economic basket case the state was in when he took over, and the fact that he confronts a hostile state legislature controlled by Democrats, I think he has done well.

    On the other hand we have too many people in Illinois who are in denial and simply will not admit that this state is about to hit a fiscal wall. This really atrocious piece by Rich Miller at Capitol Fax is typical of the whistling at the top of the abyss. Attacking other states to divert attention from the fact that Illinois is on the brink of fiscal collapse is amusing, but that is about all I can say for it.

  • There are limits to everything.

    Is it that big governments try to be “all things to all people”, with private sector taxes paying for it all?

    At what point do high taxes chase away, or ruin, the state’s private sector?

    A number of states’ rulers have serious “heads in sand” issues.

  • That goes for the DC Dim crowd’s adamant adherence to fiscal destruction: freeze government spending at $1.5 trillion more than tax revenues????

    Er, cut the annual deficit to $1.1 trillion over ten years????

    I didn’t even need to go to my HP-12 financial calculator to estimate that would add $12+ trillion to the already unsustainable National Debt.

    Does the bloviator-in-chief think we are stupid? Not 75% of us. How can 25% be so stupid? Ans. a. the kool aid b. Public school brainwashing. c. Food stamps.

  • …Plus, we in New Jersey have great landfills…Come ride the NJ Turnpike, where you still have to pay a toll even though the road was paid for years ago. Even the legendary Jimmy Hoffa probably has found a home here. Our economy is so good that the Mafia hasn’t laid off a judge in at least a decade. And that great smell around Bayonne of old tires and petroleum fumes is something you just can’t find anywhere else.

    Yes, come to the Garden State and visit beautiful downtown Camden, but make sure you bring a gun because there’s no one there to protect you because most of the cops have been first. But, hey, we have to start making cuts somewhere and business comes first and there are plenty of opportunities for profit on the hundreds of foreclosed homes and empty storefronts.

    And if you think the politicians in Illinois are crooked (after all, how many of our ex-governors are in jail?), we still know how to accept a “campaign contribution” with the best of them. Please use a brown paper bag, however, and make it cash. Dollars are acceptable but Euros and Asian currency are preferred.

    Thanks for stopping by! We look forward to your business!

  • I doubt this would impact anyone’s decision. If you’re a business owner or leader and you find that you need to relocate in order to stay afloat or prosper, you’re going to appreciate Christie’s attitude. However, that doesn’t mean it is New Jersey’s attitude, and it’s doubtful the attitude the remain once Christie is gone. If you have to go through the pain and expense of uprotting, you’re going to look for a location that can suit your business needs and do so economically over the long haul. If you’re finding Illinois unworkable, you’re likely going to find most traditionally blue states a poor choice.

  • …correcting typo: “…most of the cops have been FIRED.”

  • Joe, I must stand up for the honor of Illinois! When it comes to political corruption we are second to none. In the past four decades we have had three of our governors go to the Big House, with a fourth on the way. Try and match that!

  • RL, I think most of the businesses leaving Illinois will probably head to Indiana and Wisconsin. However, I would not be surprised if Christie isn’t able to lure a few businesses as the SS Illinois sinks beneath the waves after hitting the fiscal iceberg.

  • Agree, Donald, that NJ has a ways to go, but they’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, can’t wait for Blago’s new TV reality show.

  • Wisconsin’s new slogan: “Wisconsin is open for business.” Translation: “We can grease palms with the best of them”

  • NJ may be starting to appeal to some businesses, people should look at NJ’s very high property taxes:
    Average property tax in NJ is about $6.3K a year whereas in Illinois it’s about $3.3K. That extra $3K might come in handy for some families.

    (NOTE: this data is slightly out-dated, I thought I saw newer data for NJ that said property tax has increased to over $7K.

  • I live in Illinois, and there’s no chance I’ll be moving to the East coast. Like Don says, our Midwestern image of New Jersey is that it’s NYC’s Mafia-run landfill (no offense). But I live 5 miles from the border with Missouri and work online from home, so I’m going to look into whether I can get a post office box or rent a small office on the other side of the river and officially make my income in that state. I probably don’t make enough money for it to save me that much, but it’d be worth it to poke them in the eye even if I break even on the deal.

    Many locals already drive over there to save 10 cents/gallon on gas, and there’s a string of other businesses among the gas stations that exist only to serve Illinois residents (there’s no town over there to speak of). I bet they were all cheering when they heard about Illinois’s 66% tax increase.

  • Funny how competing sovereign states can highlight the errors and the best practices of each other. We must put a stop to this if we are to remain a Union. I suggest that Illinois raise up the militia and invade New Jersey to force a regime change.

  • Joe your bitter grapes with regard to Wisconsin are surely not on account of the Packers crushing da Bears???

  • Uh CL, nothing against the Pack, but “crushing”?

  • You say tomato, I say tom?to . . .

  • Lawyer…FYI, I am a transplanted Cheesehead whose veins now run green and gold. I am not responsible for any inferences drawn that my state’s politics are in any way corrupt : )

  • This just in… the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled, unanimously, that Rahm Emanuel CAN stay on the ballot for Chicago mayor, based on established precedent from an eerily similar case that was decided in the 1860s (that’s not a typo, we’re talking 140 + years ago) and was considered settled case law until called into question “a few days ago”. Intent DOES count when establishing residency for purposes of running for public office, as well as for voting for public office.

    Now back to our show…

    I have to differ with you, Don, on that Capitol Fax article you linked to. While Miller may be a bit over the top in his writing style there all his information was accurate. If you read him habitually (as I do), you would know that he’s been sounding the alarm about Illinois’ looming fiscal disaster louder and longer than just about anyone in the legacy media. What he was attempting to do here was NOT ignore or dismiss the problem but put it in some perspective, and point out that it’s not necessarily the end of the world, or of Sucker State civilization as we know it.

    I agree that Miller comes down pretty hard on Christie, whose budget deficit is at least headed in the right direction, however slowly. Still, I’m puzzled as to why Christie would do this except in an attempt to play to a national audience and not miss out on the “pile on Illinois” game being played by other GOP governors (including prospective POTUS and VPOTUS candidates).

    It’s one thing for Wisconsin and Indiana to try to persuade Illinois businesses to move — they are right next door, and one could locate in those states and still be within easy reach of the Chicago metro area. And I could even see states like Texas and Florida getting in on the act, after all, they offer freedom from both income taxes and snow shoveling 🙂

    But New Jersey? Seriously, what Illinois business owner is going to pack up and move 1,000 miles just to put up with equally bad if not worse weather, higher property and income taxes, and even more entrenched corruption (mainly at the local level)? Not to mention Snooki and The Situation taking the place of Mr. and Mrs. Blago as your least favorite reality TV stars?

  • In regard to the Emanuel opinion Elaine, I thought it interesting that in the concurring opinion they took exception to the caustic tone of the majority towards the two appellate court judges who wrote the opinion that the Supreme Court reversed. I applauded that. The Illinois Supreme Court harps on the necessity of civility by attorneys and lower courts, and then they write fairly unprofessional opinions, the tone of this one was not that much worse than others I have read, in which they let their inner jerks have free reign. I also agree with the concurring justices that the law in this area was not clear and I think the Supreme Court has made it murkier. The next time that a Chicago cop is fired for non-residence, it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court still believes that the law is crystal clear on the issue of residence.

    As to Capitol Fax, I am not inclined to be charitable. I think Miller leans to the Democrat side, and I think he is unfair to Christie who is making heroic efforts to balance the books of New Jersey:

    In regard to Christie and Illinois, I think his attitude was it would give his efforts to woo businesses to New Jersey nation-wide publicity for a modest radio investment, and he was right. I think it was a shrewd move, even if he doesn’t get a single Illinois business to jump ship.

  • At the risk of being snarky (oh, what the hell), perhaps Mr. Christie would do well to tighten his own belt — that is if he could find one to accommodate his girth.

  • Better a fat belly than a fat head Joe. If it would make them fiscal hawks like Christie, I’d send each governor a case of Christie’s favorite desert.

    Corzine of course tried the “Christie is fat” attack during the campaign, and Christie just rolled right over him. 🙂

  • Go to the link below, run the video, and see why Chris Christie is a great leader to end the drunken sailor government spending this country is addicted to:

Chris Christie: A Sensitive Guy

Saturday, October 30, AD 2010

A lot of Republicans are going to be elected on Tuesday precisely because the Democrats have no clue in  regard to restraining government spending.  If the Republicans do not wish to find themselves in the same boat two years hence, they must embrace the hardnosed attitude of Chris Christie in taking an axe to spending.  Republican elected officials, look at what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey, and go thou and do likewise.

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10 Responses to Chris Christie: A Sensitive Guy

  • I love it!

    Christie 2012!

  • But, but, but…
    Democrats are for the working people!

  • It actually is pretty simple. The federal government should only do what they are constitutionally required to do. Under our Constitution the federal government has very few responsibilities. Problem is politics get involved and when things aren’t perfect people look to the politicians and ask why not. Gutless politicians say next time Nanny government will make sure X won’t be a problem. Reality is, life involves problems. When citizens want government to solve all their problems they forget there is no such thing as government. Government is your neighbor. Next time someone say government ought to ______ they are really saying their neighbor ought to _______. Now read that again and think of yourself as the neighbor.

  • He is wonderful. I hope other politicians will look at Christie and realize that you can talk to us voters like we are reasoning grown-ups and you’ll not only survive, but thrive. You don’t have to lie and tell us if you are elected we will get every goody in the world without paying for it (courtesy of “the rich”). I mean, that would be nice, just like it would be nice if I won Powerball and lollipops dropped from the heavens, but no sensible adult banks on any of those things happening.

  • The clip cuts off Christie’s punch-line, where he tells the Democratic Senate leader that because of the criticism he is going to rescind the executive order and let them deal with it, and the leader says “hold on, Governor, let’s not overreact.”

  • “Christie 2012!”

    Whoa, slow down there folks, I understand why you like him so much (I do too) but for cryin’ out loud, he hasn’t even been governor for a year and already you’re talking about running him for POTUS? Nope, let him finish the job NJ residents elected him to do, then maybe ask that question again in 2016. Or 2020, if NJ decides to keep him for another term.

    “You don’t have to lie and tell us if you are elected we will get every goody in the world without paying for it (courtesy of “the rich”).”

    Neither do politicians have to lie and tell us that all our budget problems will be solved purely by getting rid of “waste and fraud,” with no cuts to services relied upon by anyone other than certain despised classes (i.e. Medicaid/welfare recipients, unionized government employees), and no impact on public infrastructure or facilities.

    I’m not arguing, at all, that budget cuts aren’t necessary or that getting rid of waste and fraud isn’t important. I am saying, however, that politicians should be honest about the fact that solving budget crises on cuts alone without tax increases will NOT be painless. Simply promising “no new taxes” is not enough. To his credit Christie seems to have been honest about that as well.

    “Republican elected officials, look at what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey, and go thou and do likewise.”

    Here in Illinois, Bill Brady, who could be our governor-elect by this time next week if all goes well, has borrowed heavily from the Christie playbook, and Christie has made several campaign appearances in IL on Brady’s behalf.

    However, given the differences in the two men’s style, in their previous govermental experience (Christie is a former prosecutor; Brady is a state legislator and owner of a construction company) and in the constitutional powers they can or would be able to exercise, our mileage may vary.

  • The Democrats are NOT for the working people. They are for power and making people feel helpless. The whole idea of giving people money and foodstamps is on the surface kind but ultimately is NOT. It causes people to live a kind of subsistence life and never helps them get ahead. It says the person is not ABLE to succeed. A kinder method would be to help the person learn work skills and learn to support themselves. It sucks the pride out of people.

  • I am saying, however, that politicians should be honest about the fact that solving budget crises on cuts alone without tax increases will NOT be painless.

    I completely agree, Elaine. I think what is really infuriating is when pols ask ordinary people to sacrifice while making it clear that the political class itself will exempt itself from those sacrifices. Obamacare will not apply to Congress. Kerry votes in favor of taxes while dodging them himself. Al Gore calls on us peons to live a spartan lifestyle while he lives in mansions and flies around the world on a private jet. The obvious discrepancy between how the Ruling Class lives and how they expect the rest of us to live is behind the anger toward the “elites.”

  • I love Christie’s performances on camera like this. He is truly a master of Irish diplomacy, the art of telling someone to go to hell and making them look forward to the trip.

    Indeed, I hear from any number of people, red or blue, that have only disdain for the “my opponent is an agent of Satan” level of political discourse. Tell it to us straight! “Vote for me because my opponent is evil incarnate” so clearly stretches the truth (hey, both of you may be evil incarnate for all I know) as to give up all credibility for you as someone I’d want in office. Any office. “Oh, we can’t cut X. Anyone who’d cut X has no heart.” Yeah? We haven’t got the money anymore, if we ever did. Tell us how to balance the budget. “Waste and fraud” is Washington-ese for “we’re going to pretend.” It is totally meaningless and everybody in the system knows it. It really translates to “we can’t make ends meet politically or financially, so we’ll just borrow the difference.”

    ‘Character before policy’ may not make the political wonks very happy but sometimes I have to vote for someone I disagree with simply because the guy on my side is clueless. Don’t even get me started on people who say things like “I can’t be friends with him because he’s in the other political party.” Talk about Shites and Sunnis! Christie goes down so well because he isn’t into attack, that I see. He has the facts and the other guys have emotion. Remember how, when Reagan was attacked, he’d start with “Well, there you go again…..” and smile as he said it. Same deal.

    I love his line about “I’d love to be the guy going around giving out all kinds of good things. That isn’t when I got to be governor.”

Worse Than Murder Inc. Meets its Match In Governor Chris Christie

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man who is rapidly becoming my favorite male politician, has successfully cut state funds for Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood.

After the New Jersey state Senate defeated an attempt to override the decision of Gov. Chris Christie to cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, the first facility run by the national abortion giant is closing.

The Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper says a Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road and operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey will close down.

PP-SNJ stands to lose as much as $160,000 in taxpayer funds because of Christie’s decision and the upholding of his veto. With the closing of the Cherry Hill center, Planned Parenthood customers seeking abortions or other “services” must go to PP centers in Camden, Bellmawr, and Edgewater Park.

Parenthood of Southern New Jersey president Lynn Brown told the newspaper, “We are in think mode and creative mode and we are doing all that we can to try and salvage to see as many people as we need to see.”

“We all know it’s strictly ideological,” Brown said of the funding cuts to the abortion business. “This is a very frustrating and perplexing time for us.”

While the Cherry Hill center does not do abortions, it gives abortion referrals to Planned Parenthood offices in Hamilton Square, Princeton, and Trenton where abortions are done on women and unborn children.

Marie Tasy, the head of New Jersey Right to Life, told she applauded the state Senate for not overriding Christie’s veto of the Planned Parenthood funding bill.

“We applaud the Senators who voted No to override Governor Christie’s veto of S2139,” she said. “This debate was never about health care, it is about advancing a political agenda and rewarding ‘friends’ and a radical special interest group with our tax dollars.”

“We commend Governor Christie for his steadfast opposition to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and for working to promote the best health care for all NJ citizens,” Tasy added.

Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates in July by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles.

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6 Responses to Worse Than Murder Inc. Meets its Match In Governor Chris Christie

  • Chris Christie is the kind of guy we need as President, but he has got that certain something called leadership, guts, courage.

  • It is great he cut their funding and our rosary group has been praying for the closure of this clinic. We were elated. But today I heard that they are only closing the part of the clinic that does routine tests like pap smears etc. The abortions will continue – If my information is correct.

  • “today I heard they are only closing the part of the clinic that does routine tests like pap smears, etc.”

    It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. In all probability, that is a move on the part of Planned Parenthood to try to gin up public sympathy, and make Christie look as mean and heartless as possible — “he isn’t stopping abortions, just punishing poor women who can’t get pap tests,” etc.

    Kind of like whenever school districts lose tax referendums, the first things they threaten to cut are always sports, music, and other highly visible programs that everyone likes — never something less visible like, for instance, the superintendent’s salary.

  • The sad fact is that Christie is on record, most recently during a 2009 National Public Radio (NPR) interview during the NJ Republican primary campaign, as supporting Roe v. Wade and pledging to enforce it. Would a “prolife” politician ever say such a thing? NJ taxpayers pay for Medicaid abortions and Christie has done nothing to stop that. He also recently appointed a well known supporter of “gay marriage” to the NJ State Human Rights Commission. Prolife Catholics should refrain from drinking the Christie Kool Aid.

  • You mistate Christie’s position on abortion. During a debate with the completely pro-abort Governor of New Jersey Corzine in 2009 he said the following:

    “I am pro-life but I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”

    Here is the article:

    Christie is not perfect on the abortion issue from a pro-life perspective, but he has thus far delivered far more for the pro-life cause than many politicians who agree with the cause completely and then do almost nothing on the issue once they are in office. I assume your post is a reflection of the lingering animosity in some conservative circles in New Jersey from Christie’s defeating Steven Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey in the gubernatorial primary last year.

26 Responses to Chris Christie Explains the Fiscal Facts of Life to a Teacher

  • Rock star, in the best sense.

  • Impressive performance, and that’s coming from a liberal dem and in general supporter of U.S. union movement, or what’s left of it. Times are tough, though, and the gov makes some good points about shared sacrifice. I think that’s all part of solidarity, forever.

  • I love Christie, too. While I watched it, I thanked my lucky stars I was never cross-examined by the man. 🙂

    However, isn’t it a sad commentary on today’s political scene that we conservatives are so impressed and thrilled by a Republican who actually talks like a Republican is supposed to talk? It shows just how accustomed we have become to PC and double-talk. Being blunt and displaying common sense seems revolutionary.

  • I continue to be impressed by him. The key is that he actually has command of the facts, not just opinions, theory or emotions. You can’t have a serious debate if people are just throwing around slogans that play to your base. I really like the way he called out the teacher for failing to give him the appropriate respect in the beginning.

  • And hey, I didn’t spot a teleprompter. A pol who can command the stage without one – is that even possible? 😉

  • Yeah, and did you hear that his buddy Mike Castle is (notwithstanding his recent ACU rating of 28%, a lifetime NARAL rating of 100%, and his vote last year in favor of cap & tax) a “conservative”?

    The Governor says he wants to do for NJ government what Castle has done for Delaware? That’s a joke, right?

    Straight talk? Or B.S.?

    I’ve been a big Christie fan, but he lost a lot of my respect with his farcical glowing endorsement of Castle’s alleged “small-government” and “anti-regulatory” (did I mention he voted in favor of cap & tax?) credentials.

  • “I was told that I was destroying public education in New Jersey to ask teachers to make that contribution — 1 1/2 percent of salary”

    Since when is that too much to ask for both employee AND dependent coverage? As an employee of the State of Illinois I pay about 7.5 percent of my gross salary for HMO/PPO employee and dependent coverage. I know a lot of people would kill to have health insurance that cost them that little, and if my cost went up one-half or one percent every year I still wouldn’t complain. Yet the NJ teachers union admits they would want to kill this guy over 1.5 percent. Yikes.

  • That’s fine, as long as they put a freeze on the amount of unpaid hours teachers have to work grading papers, doing planning in the summer, etc., plus the hours and money wasted on useless “continuing education.”

  • Try pay 40% that Hawaii teachers pay. New Jersey teachers; you are dang lucky.

  • GodSGadfly:

    Lets see public schoolteachers make on average $70,000 per year (a guess)get two weeks off at Christmas (i’m sorry that would be the Winter Solstice break) two weeks for Spring break and 3 months off in the summer. Wow that is grueling.

  • Very impressive.

  • That’s fine, as long as they put a freeze on the amount of unpaid hours teachers have to work grading papers

    Where are schoolteachers hourly workers?

  • It is disingenuous to pretend that teachers don’t work hard. Despite their hours, their work load is immense.

    That said, teachers’ unions stink. Obscene amounts of their union dues go to political causes that have only tenuous links to education. In many states, they make it almost impossible to fire teachers. And the way most if not all unions these days, but especially unions for public employees, expect raises and benefits when the people paying their salaries are lucky to even have a job disgusts me.

    Some people I know from New Jersey consider Christie to be a terrible governor who is ruining their schools. But when I ask them where the money is supposed to come from for the school expenses they want, they have no answer.

  • But when I ask them where the money is supposed to come from for the school expenses they want, they have no answer.

    The answers are: raise taxes, cut compensation, reduce expenditure on supplies, or reduce the size of the workforce through attrition and dismissal. I suppose you could add ‘transfer funds from other components of the state budget’, but those other offices have people working in them as well (who may or may not have an answer).

    I would assume New Jersey is the same as New York: the completion of an MEd. degree is necessary for retention of one’s position. Evidently completion of that course of study does not require one to be able to think straight.

  • “Get off”? Did you pay attention to what I said? Obviously, Art Deco and AfghaniStan don’t know any teachers.

    How many jobs require you to get an advanced degree and then still constantly take college or graduate courses–normally at your own expense–just to maintain a license? And then continuing education courses on top of that?

    And you think the hours you put into planning can be made up for in the future, but, no. There’s a new textbook every 2 years, or you move to a different school, or get a whole new subject.

    The teachers who get recognized for their “excellence” are, by and large, the ones who work 16 hours a day.

    And what does being hourly have to do with anything? Federal law says FT is 40 hours a week, and anything else is overtime. At least at the college level, they presume our planning and grading hours into it.

    Look at what a teacher makes per year versus a comparable college graduate. Yes, I know they make a lot more in Union states like PA, NY or NJ than they do in VA or SC, but a person with a bachelor’s degree should be making at least about $60K starting.

    Heck, an RN with just an Associate’s can make $60K starting.

    Plus the stress. And these days, the fact that there’s no enforcement of discipline. Republicans complain about budgets, but I don’t see them rushing to fire the useless administrators and district and state bureaucrats who collect six-digit salaries for sitting on their rear ends doing nothing: because they’re people who hated the classroom to begin with, got bigger degrees and got out, then got promoted on Peter Principle when they proved to be horrible school principals.

    My wife spent 2 years working for an absolutely sadistic anti-Catholic lesbian Episcopalian sociopath who can’t even write an e-mail but gets to be a principal because she’s from an old money Charleston family and friends with Gov. Sanford.

    *That’s* where the real education reform needs to come, but the politicians of neither party will actually do it because cronyism is so important to them.

    So, on top of the ridiculous demands that are made of a teacher’s time (let’s not even get started on lunch duty, yard duty, required extracurricular activities, etc.), most teachers have to work other jobs just to make ends meet. When I was a teenager, my father taught FT high school, taught college courses in the evenings, and played the organ for 6 Masses a week. Much of that just went to paying my medical bills.

    And he was proud to do it: but a little appreciation and respect meant far more to him than income, and every time he hear schoolteachers getting lambasted as a class, particularly from his fellow Catholics, it broke his heart.

  • Do you know how much a teacher with a Master’s degree makes? About the equivalent of 3 years of pay steps. So another $30K in tuition down the drain that will never be paid off by the salary that comes with it, without taking one of those aforementioned district jobs that go to people with the right friends.

    And these days, while useless assistant superintendents are keeping their jobs, educational specialists are the ones who get cut in the budget cutsl. This means that people with M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees and experience in higher-level jobs are looking for work as regular classroom teachers, making it harder for those who “just” have bachelor degrees to even get jobs.

    So back up to the time and money it costs to get a Master’s while working (or while being unemployed and trying to support a family), just to have a chance at getting a job your $60,000 bachelor’s degree was supposed to get you to begin with.

    Then get a bottom-of-the barrel job at the worst rural or inner-city school, having a bunch of kids threaten your life all day, call you “honkey” and “cracker” and “white trash” and “redneck.” My wife had students, when she was pregnant, say, “I’d like to roll her down the stairs and kill her baby.” She has had students threaten to kill her, take swings at her, etc., often with no reprisals from the school.

    Meanwhile, I’m making about $15 an hour on average as a college adjunct instructor, having to pay some guy $75 to spend 10 minutes sticking a rubber ring back on my air conditioner.

    Those are the “facts of life” for the average teacher.

  • How many jobs require you to get an advanced degree and then still constantly take college or graduate courses–normally at your own expense–just to maintain a license? And then continuing education courses on top of that?

    Sounds a lot like many facets of the engineering world.

  • GG,

    Coming from a family of teachers, let’s get real here. Preparation is part of the job. It’s not something you should get paid extra for. Teaching involves more then stepping into class with a grin on your face. So if the hours of preparation make the job hours closer to 9-5 during the school year, you’re STILL getting paid 55-75K+ in nj to work 180 days a year. Office employees in the private sector who (GASP) sometimes have to take work home too, work the same hours for 50 weeks a year and pay into their health insurance don’t make much more than that.

    As for continuing education requirements, in NJ at least there is no requirement to get a masters degree. I know many tenured teachers who don’t have one, though many do choose to pursue one (usually through night classes) to get the pay raise that comes with it.


  • Curious. Does anyone know if the education requirements for teachers are the result of government led requirements or something that was instituted by the union(s)?

  • GodsGadfly,

    If you be a salaried employee, you are not on the clock and complaining about uncompensated overtime is incoherent.

    Nurses earn good salaries because of the dynamics of supply and demand in that particular zone of the labor market. The salary differential between nurses and schoolteachers is one reason (among many others) to choose nursing over schoolteaching as a career. Of course, that is not the only factor that goes into career choice.

    The salaries of nurses are enhanced by licensing requirements and by public subsidies to the consumption of medical services. Both of these factors, however, operate in spades in the market for the services of schoolteachers. Because in excess of 90% of the primary and secondary teachers in the United States are employed by public agencies, the salaries of teachers are essentially an administered price. I do not know about where you live, but where I live teachers commonly retire at 55. In comparing compensation across occupations, you do need to take account of the enhanced retirement benefits public sector employees commonly enjoy.

    My sympathies with regard to your wife’s rancid working conditions, but the appropriate policy response to that has aught to do with teacher salaries, capital budgets, or supply budgets and not a whole lot to do with staffing levels.

  • Interesting. Like most debates, the governor and the teacher he is responding to are in need of a fact checker for their comments. Yes, the economy is tough for everyone right now. Teachers, I being one of them here in NJ, have the unique experience of working 10 months out of the year. Our salaries reflect the fact that we do not work in the summer months. I left the private sector over 10 years ago and just this year I am making what I made when I left private industry in 2000. However, I took the pay cut and made the jump to do something that I love and that I enjoy. When my colleagues in the private sector received thousands of dollars each year in raises and bonuses when the economy was booming, I did not begrudge their successes or feel that I was entitled to more. After all, I am a public employee and am paid to serve the taxpayers. When they were making larger salaries, teachers did not ask for large increases (my salary increase this year – without a pay freeze – was $800). Now that the economy is in the tank and private industry is feeling the burden and not making huge raises and bonuses, my salary and benefits are being called into question.

    I am also concerned by the tone and demeanor of the governor. As a teacher, I would never speak to a parent of a student or a member of the community in the manner the governor addresses this teacher. I am an employee of the town and am paid to serve the community in which I teach. Whether I disagree with someone’s opinion or not, I show respect for their ideas and contributions, unlike our governor.

    I am a proud teacher. I enjoy working with children and teach them every day to settle their differences respecting others and taking others’ feelings into consideration. Perhaps Gov. Christie and the higher ups in the NJEA should remember this in their debates.

  • “Whether I disagree with someone’s opinion or not, I show respect for their ideas and contributions, unlike our governor.”

    The Governor was responding to the childish antics of his teacher interlocutor.

  • When they were making larger salaries, teachers did not ask for large increases

    Cash wages for hourly employees have tended quite close to changes in prices for several decades now. Net improvements in living standards have been expressed in more generous medical benefits.

  • CT,

    You missed my point. I’m replying to those idiots who think teachers have some cushy job and don’t do “real work.” I know preparation is part of the job–I’m not saying teachers should be paid more; I’m saying teachers should be appreciated more. I’m saying that, when you put the amount of work, and the licensing requirements, etc., up against the job requirements, teachers get paid a very low salary compared to other college-educated professionals. Again, I really wish conservatives would get out of the Limbaugh-false-dichotomy mindset and stop assuming that anyone who is not an orthodox Republican must be an orthodox Democrat.

    I never said there was a “requirement” to get a Master’s–and you’re talking about long-time teachers.

    I’m talking about new teachers coming into the job market, who have to compete for base line teaching jobs, in our current economy, with people with graduate degrees. And I don’t know about NJ, but in VA and SC, teachers have to take so many graduate courses every few years in order to get their licences renewed, which gets me to . . .

  • Art Deco,

    Did you even read what I said or the contexts??

    When I talked about my wife’s evil former boss, I was talking not about salaries but about the money wasted on incompetent bureaucrats, who are hired solely for political reasons, and who get into administration because they were incompetent administrators . Having a father who taught high school for 30 years, and was a college administrator for 10 years after that, and a wife who’s a teacher, and being a college teacher myself, I know full well that most people at the upper echelons of education at the state level are where they are because
    a) they’re in the right political party
    b) they’re related to the banks that give out all the student loans.

    These idiots soak up millions of dollars in money just to sit on their butts and make other people’s lives miserable. They have no useful purpose other than getting campaign dollars for politicians. If schools were operated on a subsidiarist model, and there were no higher level of education than the local school board, we would save billions in education budgets throughout the state.

    Everything you said about nurses, with the possible exception of supply and demand, applies to teachers. And again you totally miss my point:
    teachers make a lot less than people with college degrees are supposed to make, period.

    Students get June, July and maybe August off; not teachers. Teachers have 20-30 more work days a year than students are in school, so that envy of the anti-teacher crowd for “three months off” is nonsense.

    And, for the third time, my point is that those “months off” usually get taken up having to take graduate courses or conferences or continuing ed to keep up licensure, or else work a summer job to compensate, or both.

    My point is not “Oh, poor teachers who don’t make enough money!” My point is stop ragging on them like you’re a bunch of eighth graders.

    My point is to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.

    My point is that, cutting or freezing salaries is one thing, but it is usually accompanied by *increases* in the work load. If teachers didn’t have to do all that after hours and summer stuff, then they’d be more free to work other jobs.


You Do Not Get Something For Nothing

Wednesday, June 16, AD 2010

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey continues committing political heresy:  telling the voters the plain unvarnished truth.  Government since the New Deal in this country has run on the premise of convincing a majority of voters that they can get something for nothing.  Those days are coming crashing to an end against a wall of debt.  Few things are more powerful in politics than a man or woman who understands that a page has turned and that new times are upon us.  Governor Christie understands this and is acting upon it.

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7 Responses to You Do Not Get Something For Nothing

Christie to Teachers Union: You Punch Them, I Punch You

Saturday, June 5, AD 2010

There was a time when unions were needed.

Today not so much.

The New Jersey Educational Association (NJEA)  represents what is wrong with this country and this is entitlement.

Governor Chris Christie needs your help to eliminate the cancer that is the NJEA.

Please pray for him and the people of New Jersey as they engage the culture of entitlement.


(Biretta Tip:  Notes on the Culture Wars)

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7 Responses to Christie to Teachers Union: You Punch Them, I Punch You

  • Unions are still needed. It’s more than an entitlement, it’s a fundamental human right. That said, public-sector unionism doesn’t work very well. Unlike in the private sector, those who control the purse strings of government employees don’t gain anything by tightening them. In fact, they gain power by meeting union demands. I don’t know what the solution is.

  • One of the few encouraging aspects of living in rough times is, if you are lucky, sometimes leaders emerge who are up to the challenge. Chris Christie might just be such a man. He certainly is refreshingly unwilling to simply go with the politics as usual that has helped land us in this sea of unending debt.

  • I am not totally sure unions are still necessary in all areas. In many areas they have become a hoarder of dollars and fat cats at the executive positions.
    You can start with the Teamsters, AFL_CIO,Public Employees, etc..a few people in places of authority evoke their will on the members. How many polls do they take and ask their members for advise. Do they really represent their members in ther wheeling and dealing and are their polcies and use of members dues being used efficently. What do they add to K-12 yrs for teachers who have to put in their own dollars to buy supplies for their students. When have their unions used the dues to add computers or books to school districts or scholarship grants to students instead of spending millions on politics.

  • It is not a ‘human right’, much less a fundamental one, to work only on multi-year contracts, to saddle your employer with a dense web of negotiated work rules, to shut down a worksite, and to cede power in industrial relations to boss-ridden faux democratic collectives.

    Why not strip Wagner Act unions of their status as bargaining agents and let them expire? We could replace them with a mix of producer co-operatives and company unions.

    Public sector unions are predatory and should be dissolved. There is no just reason that legislative bodies should delegate authority over public expenditure to them.

  • While CST notes that workers have the right to organize, it also notes that big unions can work against the common good. One analysis of part of the current problems in Europe:

  • As a very conservative, traditional Catholic,gun-toting Korean vet, market-oriented, ex-stock broker, parent, teacher and ex-local teacher’s union president, I caution blanket attacks upon teachers. When they were receiving less pay than a store clerk, and had no power, no one cared a hoot about them or living wages, and so they paid them with benefits in lieu of money – no Social security elegibility etc. Now, and only since, that self-serving mentality by society has backfired (those expensive pensions) they are scapegoated by far too many who ought to realize that there are many conservatives in their ranks who (like myself) loathe and won’t join the national leftist unions and vote – gasp – GOP.

    The power their unions now have is because of previous societal neglect – otherwise few would have ever joined such organization.

    As Pogo says….

    By the way: Christie for president!

    As an aside, there is more validity to protect (tenure)workers(teachers) from the government who gives and takes away their jobs, than in the private sectors. I have worked in both extensively and I can assure you that the tenure that was instituted to protect teacher from parents and politicians is absolutely essential. Try giving the Board of Ed’s daughter a mere “c” grade – or disagreeing with immoral curriculum at a staff meeting, or getting older and expensive to the school system and being harassed to leave that they mightr hire two (cute?)young teachers if they succeed.

    Grievance is justice -the system is fair.
    One last comment about teacher unions and their advocacy of abortion. Has anyone in history ever been so ignorant as to kill off their future clientele?

  • When they were receiving less pay than a store clerk, and had no power, no one cared a hoot about them or living wages, and so they paid them with benefits in lieu of money –

    Just out of curiosity, do you have data which would tell us where and when the ratio to the national mean of compensation per worker of mean salaries for school teachers was below that for retail clerks?

    no Social security elegibility etc.

    I think Social Security in its initial conception covered everyone outside of agriculture, domestic service, and the self-employed.

    I have no interest in bashing teachers, Don L, but hear in New York, they (as do many public employees) commonly retire at 55 with agreeable pensions. Entry into the teaching profession is also restricted by the requirement that aspirants acquire academically dubious MEd. degrees if they are to be retained beyond a probationary term of years, which further inflates compensation. Neither circumstance is the norm for the general run of salaried employees in this state.

Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

Thursday, May 27, AD 2010

If we are going to get ourselves out of the morass of government debt in which we find ourselves, it will only be due to the efforts of men and women like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Yesterday he announced how he intends to lead New Jersey out of the fiscal wilderness:

As you all know, we have a fiscal crisis in New Jersey: a $10.9 billion deficit on a $29.3 billion budget.

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47 Responses to Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

  • If only our President and Congress would recognize the spending problem. With our National debt reaching over 14 Trillion Dollars and the interest on debt soon to be I Trillon, when are we going to realise we can not continue down this path before we implode financially.

  • Texas has a 10% cap (tax assessed property value cannot be >10% from last year). Guess what? Regardless of economic conditions, tax assessed property values magically increased by 10% every year since the cap was in place (over 10 years ago). Perhaps indexing it to inflation would be better.

    at least at 2.5%, it will take a lot longer for taxes to double.

  • Governor Christie, When you’re done fixing things in New Jersey, would you consider moving to Texas to take a shot at our property taxes, please. Best of luck with the unions.

  • I’m liking Governor Christie more each day.

    He should be considered as a possible GOP primary candidate for POTUS.

  • NJ’s taxes are why New Yorkers move there. NJ has lower taxes on everything except for property. Parents would rather pay high property taxes and get the best public schools in the nation than pay high other taxes and get NYC schools. High property taxes also keep NJ a relatively wealthy state which is part of the appeal. The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

  • RR,

    Which partly explains why Texas is a much more attractive state for families and corporations… no income tax!

  • Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

  • Yes, Texas does have a high property tax that Governor Perry has yet to make a significant dent in.

    Though having no income tax could still play a minor if not major role in this.

  • The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

    You mean the poor are being kept out of Newark, East Orange, Paterson, Jersey City, and Union City?

  • You don’t need high property taxes to keep the poor out – all you need are high property values.

  • Median property tax in NJ: 2.4%
    Median property tax in Newark: 1.4%
    Median property tax in Hoboken: 3.3%

    Guess which city has more poor people?

    NJ had the highest median income in the country until 2007 when Maryland overtook NJ by a hair. I’d say NJ is doing a pretty good job at keeping poor people out.

    Jay Anderson, not all taxes are equal. Corporations and middle-class and wealthy families would rather pay property taxes than income taxes.

  • There is considerable variation in per capita income from one state to another, not because there are barriers to the entry of ‘poor people’, but because the aggregate skill sets of populations do vary.

  • RR,

    Good stuff.

    I see what your conveying.

    Though the stereotype of New Jersey is a hard one to let go.

  • It’s laughable to think either political party will achieve a balanced budget. Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.

    Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

  • “Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.”

    He didn’t accomplish it Todd, absent games with social security. That he came within shouting distance was due to two factors completely outside his control: the tech bubble that artificially inflated tax revenues for the years 1995-2000, and the Republicans taking over Congress in 1994 that rescued him from his worst fiscal instincts.

  • The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

    Todd, I think about 75% of federal expenditure over the period running from 2001 through 2008 was financed through tax revenues and about 25% through public sector borrowing. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds are sold and traded worldwide, but I believe they remain predominantly the property of residents of the United States. With some qualification, we did pay for it, just not for every last cent.

  • I cannot help but note that military expenditure has over the last decade increased from about 3.5% to 5.0% of domestic product. Federal expenditure has until quite recently oscillated around 20% of domestic product; the increment attributable to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would thus amount to 7.5% of federal expenditure. Money is fungible, Todd. We did not pay for the other 92.5% but not pay for this 7.5%.

  • Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    Todd, the federal government followed in 1930, 1931, and 1932 a policy of allowing bank failures to be resolved through leisurely bankruptcy court proceedings; the government also elected to ignore a rapid increase in the demand for real balances. Sound money, and all (one of Dr. Paul’s fetishes). Worked just swimmingly.

  • Jay,

    Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

    Not defending TX property taxes, but dude, they’re a walk in the park compared to Michigan’s. MI has a 6% sales tax and an income tax to boot. I haven’t figured out TX sales tax yet, it appears that for some reason it ranges from 6 to 8% and there is no income tax. Though if you want to travel fast and with little traffic, you’ll likely be paying a toll. 😉

  • Paying taxes is part of good citizenship. The problem with the tax system, federally, states, and locally is that they trend to unfairness.

    I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

  • Flocks of flying pigs around Kansas City and Utica. Todd and I agree on something.

  • I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

    This would only remotely make sense if you abolished the capital gains tax on securities — it hardly makes sense to tax a company’s profit heavily, then turn around and tax the investors who own the company again because the company had enough money left to pay them a dividend.

    I rather doubt it would have the effect that Todd is envisioning in re Wal Mart, however, in that small companies buy things from large companies, so the small companies would see their costs go up almost as much as Wal Mart. (Though it would make it more attractive to a be a small business owner, would doubtless be a good thing.)

    Also, frankly, the kind of efficiencies that a Wal Mart (or to use less tainted names, a Kohls or a Kroger or a Safeway or a Home Depot) manage to achieve would be very difficult to outweigh with any imaginable tax rate. Fast communication and the ability to build complex data systems to manage efficient supply chains are the things that would need to be banned in order to cripple the ability of large retailers to operate, and I would imagine that most people would not go for that.

  • Yes it does make sense.

    Incorporated enterprises garner the advantages of limited liability; if they go public, they also have access to capital markets. If they seek the advantages of asking to be treating as a ‘person’ as a matter of law, they can pay taxes like one. When I last had to study the question, state corporate taxes were usually quite modest (< 3% of net profits), so a flat assessment of 1/3 of net profits by the federal government would be in order.

    Capital gains need to be calculated appropriately (i.e. an index derived from the GNP deflator applied to the purchase price), but that is a different question.

  • US corporate income taxes are already about 35% on corporate taxable profits, though corporations with taxable income less than $100,000 end up paying much less due to the graduated tax table.

    After paying these taxes, corporations can distribute the remaining profits to their shareholders in the form of dividends, which are then taxed again as personal income (though at a rate somewhat lower than standard earned income or capital gains.)

    Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

  • I don’t think “fairness” should necessarily play a part in debates over corporate taxation. The best reason I’ve heard for taxing corporations at the same rate as people is that it makes it harder for business owners to cheat taxes by taking advantage of lower corporate tax rates.

    Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    All this can be accomplished by replacing all taxes with a VAT. A digital VAT card, like a debit card, would allow the VAT to be levied progressively. Don’t know if that’s feasible on a large scale though.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily. Among tax scholars, there are four cardinal objectives of a tax system:
    1. horizontal equity: the idea that people with similar abilities to pay ought to bear similar tax burdens.
    2. vertical equity: the idea that people with greater abilities to pay ought to bear greater tax burdens.
    3. administrability: the system should be administrable as a practical matter.
    4. efficiency: the tax system ought not to affect economic decision-making (i.e., interfer with normal market decisions).

    While mose people agree with these principles, they are tricky to apply with confidence, especially #2. And broad-based corporate income taxes are especially difficult to evaluate under #1 and #2 because the true economic burden (as opposed to the nominal legal burden) is passed on in ways that cannot be reliably understood or identified. Economists agree that the actual individuals who bear corporate tax burdens are the corporations customers, employees, and investors, but no one knows in what proportions, though there is common agreement that the answers depend by industry and are very temporally fluid. In other words, the corporate tax burden is distributed quite randomly and mysteriously, despite its paradoxical popularity. The best policy explanation for the tax is that corporations do burden their communities and must pay for those burdens. There is widespread disagreement among economists as to what extent this is the case. The best practical explanation for the tax is simply that most voters like the idea of sticking it to the corporations and have not figured out that corporations can no more bear a tax burden than a tree or bridge — some living breathing humans pay the tax.

  • Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

    Todd will have to speak for himself. I have run my electronic pen at length in the past on the appropriate manner of calculating tax liability and it seems to bore people silly. Given public expenditure in the range of 35-40% of domestic product, I think an assessment of roughly a third on corporate income (with no deductions or exemptions as they constitute a subsidy to favored business sectors) is about right.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily.

    You have three businesses. For one, an impersonal and amorphous set of owners is not liable for the corporation’s actions and holds liquid shares. For the other, a discrete set of owners is liable and holds illiquid shares. For a third, a discrete set of owners is not liable but holds illiquid shares. Do you tax all three businesses at the same rate?

  • Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    ‘Dividends’ are only dividends once they have been remitted to the shareholder. They are only taxed once as we speak.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed, and taxed at the same marginal rate as the remainder of your income, if by ‘gain’ you mean an increase in the real value of the property in question, not an increase in the nominal value derived from currency erosion.

  • I don’t see why they shouldn’t be taxed identically. Incorporation costs are covered by incorporation fees. Share liquidity is paid for by exchange fees.

  • AD, I think you know what people mean when they talk about the double taxation of dividends. Tax capital to be used for dividends as corporate profit or as individual income, not both. I’d prefer the latter.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed like the rest of your income only if the principal was tax-deferred. If investing with post-tax capital, a capital gains tax would be inappropriate.

  • If investing with post-tax capital

    I do not care if you paid for your Xerox shares with savings from your paycheck or if you paid for them by selling Kodak shares.

  • AD, it makes a big difference. Taxing the gains from taxed capital favors consumption over savings. Not taxing gains on taxed capital or taxing capital+gains at realization treats consumption and savings neutrally.

  • Real soon the idiots in congress, bumbledom (you call it bureaucracy), 500,000 “community organizers”, and the public employees’ unions are going to run out of other people’s , i.e., the private sector’s money.

    It’s already happened in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, . . .

    There is weak economic growth because the private sector is being strangled by regulations and taxes.

    Anyhow, dividends are what’s left of corporate net income after taxes paid that is proportionately paid (not retained in the corporation) to the corporation’s owners/shareholders. Then, the distributed net income after taxes in the form of dividends is taxed a second time.

    Forget clueless university economics profs. The real world knows that zero corporate income taxes would result in economic growth and create far more wealth and tax revenues than the present demogogic set up of “tax the evil rich” laws and the politics of class envy/hatred.

  • Ideally, personal income tax liability would be a flat rate on one’s total income less a dollar value credit for yourself and each dependent. People whose computed liability was negative could be compensated by an addition to savings accounts dedicated to expenditures on medical treatment and long-term care. If the funds in these accounts exceeded a certain referent value, the excess remittance could then be forwarded to the tax ‘payer’, but it would (for the able bodied and working age) have to be capped at a particular percentage of earned income lest we remanufacture AFDC and general relief. Everybody faces the same marginal rate, but average rates vary considerably according to income. This is about what Milton Friedman proposed in 1962, and has the added benefit of allowing one to eliminate the miscellany of means-tested subsidies to mundane expenditure that the government offers and much of Medicaid as well.

    If you are concerned about savings rates, you can reduce income tax rates and add consumption taxes to finance the state and achieve policy goals. The United States has been running a balance of payments deficits on current account for 28 years, so concerns of that nature are appropriate. Since consumption taxes are regressive, they should be used sparingly.

    AEI has a discussion of the pros and cons of various proposals for consumption tax.

  • AD, the poor need subsidies other than for medical care. I wouldn’t place any restrictions on their use of the subsidies.

    The only problem I have with Friedman’s negative income tax is that it necessarily undercompensates. I’ve come to believe that the poor should be subsidizes out of poverty, not some lesser amount that guarantees to keep them in poverty. Yet, itt would disincentivize work completely if people were compensated 100% of the amount they fell short. The only way can I see to bring everyone out of poverty without completely disincentivizing work is a work requirement, even if it’s government make-work.

    Our current income tax system can easily be turned into a consumption tax system by eliminating the tax on capital gains and dividends. Behavioral economics would still recommend a VAT since it looks more like a consumption tax and therefore would encourage more savings even though its functionally identical to an income tax without capital gains or dividend taxes.

    There are various methods of making a consumption tax progressive. The best method I’ve come across is to have a very high VAT then issue everyone a digital discount card that gives users steep but diminishing discounts with use.

    You link to Bradford’s X-tax. I supported it when it was proposed years ago. Bradford’s the one would thought that corporate taxes should match personal income taxes to reduce the opportunity for business owners to cheat.

  • rr,

    If I had more time I’d add more, but I’ll just say this:

    The conversion of our income tax system into a consumption tax would involve something a bit different than exempting capital gains and dividends; it would basically involve (i) permitting a deduction (or exemption) from the tax base for all savings and investments and (ii) requiring inclusion in the tax base all withdrawals from such savings and investments. You are correct to suggest that it could be accomplished by amending our current Code to do this. Think of an IRA system with no limits and no distribution requirements; the taxpayer pays tax as he spends based on his own needs and desires as he discerns them. Progressivity can be preserved via graduated rates. The most controversial aspect of such a system among tax scholars is the treatment of bequests at death (not charitable gifts — those present independent policy considerations). My own view is that such transfers should be considered consumption so that 100% of one’s lifetime income is taxed as it is expended. There are a number of advantages to such a system, but one important one is that it would treat the consumption and saving choice as a neutral one — an objective that is applauded by most economists.

    The expenditure (i.e. broad-based consumption) tax was first developed by British economist Nicholas Kaldor many decades ago, and was promoted by renown Harvard tax professor William Andrews in the 1970s and 1980s. The Reagan Administration seriously considered the idea, but concluded that its economic and policy advantages were not sufficient to overcome political disadvantages. Senator Sam Nunn proposed such a system a few years ago, but it garnered little interest except among academics.

    A negative consumption tax could be developed akin to Friedman’s negative income tax, of course, but would carry with it the same policy and incentive challenges.

    Our current tax system is a hybrid of multiple sorts. For example, the IRA/401(k) aspect makes it partly a consumption tax, just as the earned income tax credit has attrubutes of a negative income tax.

    If you are genuinely interested in tax policy I suggest you pick up the latest addition of “Public Finance” by Richard and Peggy Musgrave. While they lean a bit left in terms of their policy preferences, their text really is the single best source for folks with serious interest.

  • Mike, either would work. Either tax all income then don’t tax capital gains or exempt savings then tax the principal+gains at withdrawal. The methods result in identical tax burdens. As I stated before, besides differences in administerability, the only other difference is perception. People will save more if savings are tax-deferred even if taxing them first and not taxing them later produces exactly the same tax burden.

    Thanks for the reading recommendation.

  • rr, you improve the real incomes of the impecunious by extinguishing their direct and indirect tax liabilities. They are perfectly capable of allocating their income between their various immediate objects. The sticky point is that providing for a selection of contingencies requires one have a longer time horizon than is common in certain circumstances and the consequences of failure to prepare can be ruinous. Public insurance, vouchers, and direct provision are appropriate for medical care, schooling, and legal counsel, not for your weekly grocery bill or your monthly rent.

    Because the marginal rates are equal across all strata, one can invariably improve one’s material welfare by taking on additional working hours, with the cost measured in one’s demand for leisure. It is this last point which renders it generally inadvisable to pass unrestricted cash to people with no earned income, unless they be old or crippled. It was tried from 1935 to 1996. Results not too cool.

    Conjoined to this, it would be helpful if the federal and state legislatures ceased pricing low end labor out of the market with minimum wage laws, mandatory fringe benefits, and means tested social programs. That the Democratic congressional caucus elected this time in history to raise the minimum wage is indicative of deep stupidity or deep indifference.

  • rr,
    While either would perhaps work, there is a slight economic difference between taxing all income but deducting net savings versus taxing all income except the return from savings, though both would be steps in the right direction. As for the other distinction, if I understand you correctly (and I may not) the difference between taxing income as it is earned versus as it is spent is far more than perception. It alters the the current savings versus consumption preference calculus. People respond differently to consume or secure 6% after tax return versus consume and secure 4% after tax return. I think we both agree that the current system is not good for saving. I would only clarify that a tax that is imposed on lifetime income as it is expended is economically neutral whereas as the current income tax actually favors consumption. People are encouraged to consume a greater proprtion of their income than than they would in a tax free environment. This is not good tax policy in my view.

  • This is why I support the FairTax. Tax policy makes me crazy.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care. Also, not all methods of subsidy allocation work equally well. Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own. Cutting general subsidies to pay for them should only be done for those who fail to obtain the required services.

    I’d also agree that we can’t hand out subsidies to the able-bodied without a work requirement. I only wanted to point out that those who do work should be lifted out of poverty, by subsidies if necessary. I do not accept that those who work to the full extent their bodies allow should still live in poverty.

    I think government subsidies are better alternatives to min wages but I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything. Illegal immigrants demand more than min wage.

  • Mike, we both want a pure consumption tax. I’m saying the point of taxation doesn’t make a mathematical difference. A sales tax, a VAT, an income tax exempting savings until withdrawn, and an income tax exempting capital gains, dividends, and interest, all produce mathematically identical results.

    Eric Brown, evasion would be too pervasive with a 30% sales tax on top of state and local sales taxes. I wish it weren’t so but the FairTax is simply unworkable.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care.

    No, I was suggesting that if you had a negative tax liability, free-to-spend funds remitted to you should be capped at a % of your earned income bar if you were past the statutory retirement age or adjudicated as disabled. Some standardized contributions to savings accounts for medical and nursing care would be the exception to the cap. The indigent under indictment also have a right to counsel.

    Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own.

    I will have to look up some economic analyses of voucher programs. The only thing I had in mind was vouchers for primary and secondary schooling conjoined to re-incorporation of public schools as philanthropies, a prohibition on charging tuition, and mandatory participation in regents’ examinations. This would act to set a global baseline budget for primary and secondary schooling. Homeschooling families like Darwin’s could cash-out their vouchers for a portion of the family’s state and local tax liability. It would be a liberalization of current practice.

    Again, the only public insurance programs I had in mind were for medical and long-term care. There has been extensive discussion in this forum in the past on better design for these programs.

    I would be pleased if Donald or Blackadder would post their ideas on legal services for the indigent. It has been my impression from reading the newspapers that direct provision by public agency (e.g. the state welfare department) is the least bad way to do this.

    Again, legal services, long-term care, and medical care are subject to somewhat unpredictable spikes in demand over the course of one’s life cycle. Not so groceries, housing, and gas and electric usage, which the government insists on subsidizing as we speak.

    I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything.

    They just raised it, and what do you know, we have had a year’s worth of economic growth with no discernable impact on the unemployment rate. Read Casey Mulligan on the administration’s treatment of the labor market. We have had chronically elevated unemployment rates for decades (when compared to what we know of previous decades). Minimum wage laws, benefit mandates, payroll taxes, means tested public benefits, Wagner Act unionism, maladroit health and safety regulations, and employment discrimination law all contribute fragments to this.

  • With minimum requirements (e.g., regents exams) to ensure adequacy, I’m not sure a separate government allocation is necessary. Milton Friedman proposed vouchers as the first step to completely eliminating public funding of education because he thought people will obtain adequate education on their own. I wouldn’t go as far as he does, but for many families (probably most families), vouchers are as unnecessary for education as they are for food or clothing. Admittedly, some families will not spend enough on education. We can measure this by academic achievement instead of by dollars spent. The state can increase the tax liability (or cut free-to-spend subsidies) in exchange for vouchers for those underspending families without doing so for all families.

    Ditto for health care. Mandate adequate coverage with the government stepping in to properly allocate only if the taxpayer refuses to do so.

    It’s possible that across-the-board government allocation for required services like education and health care is cheaper than the “allocator of last resort” approach I outlined above. I’m open to changing my position, if that can be shown.

28 Responses to Video of New Jersey Governor Christie Puting the Media in Their Place

  • Good, its about time someone didn’t give the impression that their spinal column had been replaced with gelatin.

  • That was pretty awesome!

  • He’s a Republican who’s actually serious about cutting spending, not just paying lip service.

    “By far the biggest category of spending we will need to cut, however, is that for programs which actually have merit, and in most cases make sense, but which we simply cannot afford at this time.”

    And with that he made huge cuts to education.

    You may like his personality but Christie’s positions are typical Northeast Republican. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, tough on crime and foreign policy, weak on illegal immigration. You sure that’s what you want?

  • No, its not what I want politically – just rhetorically.

  • It is interesting that the question was asked ” you sure this is want you want? ” Evidently the majority of New Jersey voters did and elected him. Having worked in that State and watched the type of politicians he described was very factual. They used the old “2 step” on each and very issue. Years ago several insurance copnaies left that State for the same reason. If you want an earful go sit in on one of thier legislatiive sessions and listen to their rhetoric. It would be nice to have every social program under the sun, however, if the money is not available ( ie Greece )or you can move to the many US cities and now possibly some States where Chapter 9 Bankrupties are about to take place or they still have not been able to enact a State budget or have to pay people with IOU script.

  • Actually restrained radical, Chris Christie has taken the ax to Planned Parenthood funding in New Jersey and his views on abortion strike me as heading in the right direction:

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Let’s not get duped by this. He says he wants to reduce abortions–even Obama says as much. He’s also said he’s not going to “shove that down our throats.” He also chose a pro-abort Lieutenant Governor.

    He’s another Republican that claims to be pro-life, just enough to not get Rudy’d. Seriously, to call for a ban on partial-birth abortion (which is already banned and only restricts one particular procedure while allowing for late-term abortions of any other method) and 24 hour waiting periods is pretty nominal.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what this guy does fiscally, but to support him doesn’t seem that different from supporting “personally opposed” politicians on the Dem side.

  • No Steve, he does far more than that he merely says he wants to reduce abortion. His support of a partial birth abortion ban and parental notification places him in a category far different than Obama. Most importantly to me is his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, something that should be a model for other pro-life politicians.

    I might also add that if Congressman Chris Smith vouches for him, that is good enough for me.

  • If we insist on waiting for a perfectly pro-life candidate to come along before voting for anyone, we’ll be waiting an awfully long time, and in the meantime pro-abort RINOs and Dems will keep on getting elected. Is THAT what we want?

    Also, before fellow Illinoisans and others start getting our hopes up about electing someone like this, or about running Christie for president, bear in mind that the office of governor in NJ is extremely powerful constitutionally — more so than the POTUS or any other state governor. What Christie is doing can’t necessarily be repeated in other states or at a national level.

  • A good article today in The Hill on Christie:

    Christie is leading a true grass roots revolt in New Jersey and those of us who live outside of the Garden State are beginning to pay attention.

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

  • The commie-caths are nothing if not consistent. They find fault with all GOP’ers and give praise to Obama.

    I bet above Christie detractors (look up detraction) voted for Obama.

    You know: a President Christie would not nominate to SCOTUS anyone like a Dean Kagan, but the commie-cath-elected Dems would filibuster all his judicial nominees, anyhow.

    But, keep voting with satan, socialist saints! Because 47,000,000 exterminated unborn babies is a small price to pay for the destruction of the unjust, racist capitalist system.

  • T.Shaw I can guarantee you that neither restrainedradical nor Steve are commie-caths. In regard to Steve, I suspect that I would be closer to being a commie-cath than he would be. 🙂

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

    It’s even stranger. He is doing a much better job than his bland and substance-less campaign would have suggested. He’s the anti-Crist.

  • That’s one heck of a piece of extemporaneous speaking. And he pulled it off with good humor and no bitterness. Impressive.

  • I was thinking the same thing, Dale. Either that question and answer was planned out ahead of time (and I don’t think it was), or Chris Christie is one fine public speaker.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Because I have a great deal of respect for you I will stand down. Christie’s action on PP is certainly commendable.

    My reluctance to support him is rooted in a history of being burned by so-called pro-lifers like Bush who ushered in federally funded stem cell research (the fact that it was just a little bit does not justify it) and little else make me even more suspicious of Republicans who make the “I’m not going to shove it down people’s throats” type of remarks. If it’s murder–and it is–it should absolutely be shoved down people’s throats.

    Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more. Had McCain been elected, the country’s descent into socialism wouldn’t have been reversed; it would have merely been slowed. While sitting out the last couple elections may have unfortunately given the Dems power now, it also was a necessary condition for the revival we’re about to see in November. And I’m not just talking about the hit the Dems will take but also the lousy sort of Republicans you seem inclined to support (Bennett, Crist, etc.)

    T. Shaw, you couldn’t be more mistaken. I’ve got a toddler who starts booing when he sees Obama on TV. I think that your remark lacked basic Christian charity.

  • I back Donald as well.

    I don’t know Steve well enough, but Restrained Radical is the real deal when it comes to his faith (I could be wrong, but I haven’t read anything to say otherwise).

  • I like Christie and would vote for his reelection if I lived in NJ. I don’t know if I would vote for him for president though. It has nothing to do with spending. His fiscal conservatism I love. But there’s a real possibility he’s not that far from Rudy.

  • RR,

    I am an ardently pro-life NJ resident who would not hesitate to vote for him for president. Christie is nothing like Rudy (except in his fiscal policies). I have little doubt that he would absolutely come down on the pro-life side of ANY legislation that came before him. The “not pushing it down people’s throats” comment was, I think, more about what his focus was going to be – the economy. He’s not focusing on abortion, but he’s certainly not promoting it or even tolerating it. Even in his budget battles, he’s already taken the pro-life step of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. That’s a pretty bold move if you’re secretly looking to avoid the abortion fight or if your “personally opposed, but…” and I don’t think it should be overlooked as evidence of who he really is. Keep your eye on him and I think all your fears will be put to rest.

  • Sorry to all.

    I have a visceral, uncharitable “problem” with (was it 52% or 62% of) majority of Catholics that wittingly/unwittingly voted for Obama, abortion, Kennedys, economic deconstruction, Kerry, subversion of morality, Pelosi, etc.

    I fear nitpicking/sniping at basically “good guys” like Christie will help keep abortionists in power.

  • T. Shaw,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    A difficult lesson I learned is that don’t use name calling, but do describe what they are doing.

  • Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue and focus on the issues that really matter in evey day America – primarily the economy, which this Governor is actually willing to do something about. He’s actually going to be fiscally conservative. Thank God! Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!

  • “Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!”

    I couldn’t think of a worse venue to preach that particular message than The American Catholic. We care deeply about the pro-life cause here and we will never “move on” from that struggle until the innocent unborn enjoy the same right to life that you and I enjoy.

  • The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death, rather than a separate issue. Addressing fiscal issues without turning our hearts back to God is just a band aid.

  • Move on people!

    JG, there’s already a website for that. But as Don said, you don’t seem to know much about who this blog community consists of.

  • “Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue”

    It depends on how you interpret that. Pro-life is NOT a “sub issue” in the sense that it is dispensable or of lower priority than how a candidate stands on the economy. If you don’t have the right to live, all other rights are meaningless. Anyone who is aggressively pro-abortion or who fails to make even the slightest effort to protect the unborn is NOT going to get my vote even if they have the most brilliant economic ideas on earth.

    However, that does not mean that every pro-lifer must constantly flog the abortion issue or make it the primary focus of their campaign or of their administration if elected. Nor are they obligated to make unrealistic promises of action that likely will not pass their legislatures or that will be struck down by the courts (e.g. promising to enact a complete abortion ban). They must, however, make clear where they stand and promise to take advantage of any opportunity they have to protect unborn life. I think Christie’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood is a good example of that. It can be justified on fiscal grounds (the state can’t afford it, and has no business asking taxpayers to pay for it) as well as on moral grounds.

    Here we need to keep in mind Christ’s saying about how those who prove themselves faithful in small things will be faithful in greater things. I believe pro-lifers who show themselves to be honest, trustworthy, and wise on “lesser” issues like the economy, taxes, etc. will have more credibility with both the “unconverted” as well as the “choir” when they address life issues. Likewise someone who constantly beats the drum for pro-life but proves to be a complete incompetent or idiot when it comes to other aspects of governing doesn’t do the movement or the unborn any favors.

  • Steve’s right about this: The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death. If the one-in-every-three kids who have been killed in this country for the last 35 yrs were young adults today, we wouldn’t be worried about Mcare, SS funding etc…just for starters. Of course that doesn’t even count the people who aren’t here thanks to contraception.
    Thanks, boomers.

Planned Parenthood Funds Axed in New Jersey

Tuesday, April 6, AD 2010

15 Responses to Planned Parenthood Funds Axed in New Jersey

  • Could it be that he is using fiscal responsibility and smaller government as a pretext for his search and destroy mission of Planned Parenthood?

    I’m having a hard time wiping the smile off my face.

  • An abortion is still elective surgery and if there is no money it makes sense to cut this.

  • Christie is my personal hero lately. NJ needs this man.

  • Don,

    “Remember this the next time someone attempts to tell you that political involvement by the pro-life cause is a waste of time.”

    I hope they do. This is better news than TN’s notification law.

  • If I remember correctly, before the election, some pro-lifers were complaining that Christie wasn’t pro-life enough for their taste… good thing the perfect didn’t become the enemy of the good in that case.

    I sure hope that Bill Brady, GOP candidate for governor of Illinois, is taking notes 🙂

  • I am betting Elaine that the Democrats in our State lose the Governorship, Obama’s Senate seat and four house seats. Mr. Kirk, the GOP pro-abort nominee for the Senate, will not get my vote, I will abstain in that race, but I think he will win nonetheless against Mr. Banker to the Mob. 🙂

  • The roll back has started.
    What happens in the US is followed around the world in this arena.
    There is presently a challenge in the NZ courts regarding the application of abortion law in this country.
    Prayers, that the right decisions will be made.

  • Prayers on the way Don!

  • Your bet is on, Don.

    I agree that the Dems will lose the governorship barring some really spectacular screw up on Brady’s part combined with some really heroic action on Quinn’s part. Public Policy Polling yesterday said they show Quinn’s approval rating statewide at 25 percent and disapproval at 53 percent… comparable to Gov. Corzine’s numbers just before he lost to Christie, and approaching Nixon/Blago territory.

    Kirk is now polling ahead of Giannoulias, and although he will probably win I think it will be pretty close up to the end. Some Illinois political junkies with too much time on their hands think Giannoulias will be forced off the ticket and replaced by none other than Rahm Emanuel… but that would probably be an even more disastrous choice for the Dems.

    As for the Congressional seats, I think IL-11 (GOP’s Adam Kinzinger over incumbent Dem Deb Halvorson; this was Jerry Weller’s old seat) and IL-14 (GOP’s Randy Hultgren over incumbent Dem Bill Foster; this was Denny Hastert’s former seat) will go back to the GOP, but I’m not so sure about any others.

  • Those two seats are in my total Elaine. I also think Phil Hare will lose to Bobby Schilling in 17 and that Joe Walsh will take out Melissa Bean in 8.

  • If Schilling does take out Hare, it would be a minor miracle given that IL-17 is one of the most ridiculously-gerrymandered-in-favor-of-Democrats districts ever. Squeezing the Quad Cities, Quincy, and Decatur into the same district took some truly amazing sleight of hand on the part of the map drawers.

  • All true Elaine. It is also true that Hare is a major league dufus:

    His first time out in 2006 he got 57% of the vote in a very good Democrat year. In a very bad Democrat year I think he is beatable, and I think Bobby Schilling might do it.

  • Proof Elaine that we are both right on Quinn:

    That was a brilliant move on Quinn’s part taking on Paul Simon’s daughter, Sheila, as the nominee for Lieutenant Governor rather than Art Turner the black representative who came in second in the Lieutenant Governor primary. Nothing like taking on a complete political neophyte while angering the most loyal part of the Democrat coalition. Quinn has the political survival instincts of a lemming.

  • What kind of content does somebody need to write to be able to guest post. I mean it has to be about something specific or completely random? I happend to know a lot on your post Planned Parenthood Funds Axed in New Jersey The American Catholic

  • Put your proposed guest post in the combox. If it looks good and everything in it checks out, I’ll run it as a guest post with you as author.